Sunday, August 30, 2009

Flying by the front paws

Apparently when cats Levitate, they do the swimming animation instead of hovering.

When running forwards, they run normally (although a foot off the ground), but as soon as you stop they go back to swimming - very odd!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I have never said this before

1. Blood elves can be hunters? Bugger, wish I could have joined the Horde under Sylvanas Windrunner.
Never mind, I've spent so much time on my hunter; I don't want to make another hunter.

2. You can only use ONE potion in combat? Bugger. I guess Alchemy wasn't that useful after all; should have taken Engineering.
Never mind, at least I still use quite a few mana and health potions while soloing/raiding.

3. You can change Factions now?
Never mind, I've spent a lot of time on this server with my guild; I won't change to Blood Elf.

4. Level 60 Onyxia is no more? Yikes, what about the Sinew for Rhok?
Never mind, hopefully Blizz will keep the quest in but make the sinew drop somewhere else; off black whelps perhaps.

5. Forsaken hunters and Night elf mages? Bugger. Wish I could have been those classes.
Never mind, I've spent so much time on my night elf hunter in a friendly guild and server; I won't change now.

6. Hunters will no longer use mana?

For the first time ever, I will join the millions of whiners that seem to think WoW should be made for their own ideals and no-one else's to ask:

Seriously... I made Phyllixia for the pet, the ranged, the "caster" with mana, Shadowmeld and Rhok - now, mages have a pet (water elemental), are ranged, are a caster with mana and can cast Shadowmeld as a night elf. And then there's druids, which can be a tank, healer AND two different types of DPS; how's that for flexibility?

Both of those classes are what I *almost* chose over a hunter, with me wanting to be a night elf and doing a "test of skill" quest for Rhok being the deciders. Similarly, my expected liberal use of mana and health potions was the decider for Alchemy over Engineering.

Of course, there's a small problem with rerolling: My Achievements. And I don't just mean the ones you get points for - I also mean things like soloing Onyxia, being able to chain trap and kite forever as well as DPS and of course getting Rhok as BM spec.

I've spent a lot of time on Phyllixia the Night Elf Hunter and I can't really throw that out.... but I guess it will depend on whether I'll like the new "Focus" system or not.

Hopefully I will, although I'm still going to mourn having even less use for potions than I did previously - maybe I should switch to transmute or elixir mastery....

Friday, August 21, 2009

4pc T8 bonus fail

Can someone explain why 2pc T7.5 (Valorous Cryptstalker) and 2pc T8.5 (Conqueror's Scourgestalker) is actually better DPS (theoretically) than 4pc T8.5?


2pc T7.5 - Your pet deals an additional 5% damage

2pc T8.5 - Increases the damage done by your Serpent Sting by 10%
4pc T8.5 - Your Steady Shot has a chance to grant you 600 attack power for 15 sec

No, it's not just because I'm BM.

On the hunter DPS spreadsheet, my Survival spec also comes out on top if I pick the 2pc pet bonus over the 4pc Steady Shot bonus (although admittedly not by much).

The only thing I can think of is that because Survival uses a lot less Steady Shot, the bonus doesn't proc as much. For BM, while Steady Shot is used often, my pet is more important for DPS.

I mean, I know both of my specs are far from optimal DPS in either case, but seriously... stop giving us @#$% tier bonuses, Blizzard!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pet Control: Part three - General pet abilities

See Part one (Attack, Follow and Stay) or Part two (Aggressive, Defensive and Passive) for pet commands and stances.

Besides pet commands and stances, your pet will have several "active" abilities or talents that you will need to control. Some will be species-specific (such as Prowl or Pin), but most will be shared abilities between all pets, or within the pet families of Tenacity, Cunning and Ferocity.

Shared pet abilities:

Growl and Cower - Generally, you should have either Growl *or* Cower on at any time, as these abilities will help with your pet's threat control (for either tanking or DPSing, respectively).

One exception to this would be in PvP, where threat control is rarely needed. In this case, however, Growl can be used to your advantage by manually Growling at player pets, taking their focus off the player until your opponent redirects them.

Bite/Claw/Smack - Every pet has one of these abilities, which are pretty much all the same spell. This is a "Focus dump" ability, which means any spare focus your pet may have will be used by casting this spell.

Usually, you would want this on Autocast, as the other pet abilities that cost Focus have a longish cooldown and the Focus would be wasted. However, if for some reason your pet is constantly out of Focus, or you want to make sure your pet will have Focus for when you really need it (a stun or CC ability in PvP, for example), you can turn Autocast off.

Dash/Dive or Charge/Swoop - Keep Autocast off, as this ability will get used every cooldown and waste Focus even if your pet isn't moving.

Tenacity-specific abilities:

Thunderstomp - For AoE tanking, this can be kept on Autocast. If some kind of crowd control is required (or if you don't want your pet pulling aggro on mobs), this needs to be turned off.

Intervene - You may want to macro this, as you need a friendly target to cast it on. A simple macro may look something like this:

/cast [target=player] Intervene

...for yourself, or perhaps:

/cast [target=mouseover] Intervene; [target=player] Intervene

...which will cast Intervene on your mouseover target or yourself if you don't have a target.

Roar of Sacrifice - See above for Intervene. This is also a Cunning ability.

Last Stand - If you expect to use this in a hurry, I would recommend pulling this out onto your pet bar, or creating a macro and pulling it onto the player bars instead. Although it won't be used often, trying to find it in your spellbook can be annoying.

Taunt - See above for Last Stand. In addition, make sure your pet is attacking the target you want it to Taunt before you hit this spell.

Cunning-specific abilities:

Carrion Feeder - Unless you use this a lot and don't need all four spaces for pet abilities, you can leave this one in your spellbook.

Bullheaded and Roar of Recovery - See above for Last Stand.

Roar of Sacrifice - As above for the Tenacity talent.

Ferocity-specific abilities:

Heart of the Phoenix, Call of the Wild and Lick Your Wounds - See above for Last Stand.

Rabid - In general, this can be left on Autocast as for Bite/Claw/Smack. Again, if you find you need to save Focus, you can turn Autocast off.

That's it for now. Stay tuned; I will be covering species-specific pet abilities and how to organize your pet bar (Blizzard really needed to give us more than 4 slots on that thing...) in another post.

(Sorry it's taking so long for these info posts to come out, but I've been rather busy!)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Who's the tank?

Gotta love PuGs.

Surprisingly, we didn't wipe, although the 3 DPS frequently pulled aggro (the other two were shaman and warrior, so I was the only one with a decent threat reduction ability).

Good thing most people are overgeared for 5mans now (it was heroic Drak'Tharon Keep); that paladin tank wouldn't have survived the run if the rest of us weren't smashing the place!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I finally caught up

I've now killed everything in the game except the last few bosses of Ulduar and beyond... not counting all of the various hard modes and Achievements, of course.

I will have to go back to Sunwell again though... KJ still has my bow!

I'm in ur raidz, PvPing ur bosses

While everybody else is either busily speculating about the next WoW expansion involving Worgen and Goblins or the fact that the Icecrown raid will have at least 31 bosses, my interest was drawn to a less significant revelation in the latest Blizzcast episode:

In the Trial of the Crusader, which is the 10- and 25-player raid, we have some interesting new mechanics for us. One of the encounters is sort of the raid version of the Priestess Delrissa encounter that was in Magister’s in this encounter you’ll actually be able to use pretty much everything. So you can sheep them, stun them, snare them, so it’ll be an opportunity for players to use a lot of abilities that they don’t normally get to use in raids, which is really exciting for us.

I know a lot of my (PvE server) guildies will probably hate it with a passion, but I love this kind of thing. Any PvE encounter that involves some sort of dynamic challenge where your skills need to extend beyond doing a perfect DPS rotation gets a thumbs up from me, whether it involve kiting (Gluth, Hyjal trash), chain trapping (Moroes), PvP (Delrissa) or heavy coordination (Achievements in heroic Oculus).

Bring it on!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pet Control: Part two - Aggressive, Defensive and Passive

Part one of this guide covered the pet commands Attack, Follow and Stay.

Once you have that under control, we move onto the pet "stances" - Aggressive, Defensive and Passive, in that order as the three right-most spells on your pet bar.

As for Attack, Follow and Stay, the default key bindings for these spells are rather awkward to reach, so you may need to re-bind them to a different key and/or make a macro:


Using Pet Aggressive

Having your pet on Aggressive is usually not a good thing, as it will randomly attack anything within a small radius without you having to control it. However, there are situations where it is useful.

In PvE, this usually means places where there are lots of adds and you don't have to worry about either loot (you need to "tag" each mob with a spell to get loot from it) or pulling aggro.

Examples of this would be the stair event in Zul'farrak or perhaps (if you're careful) Gothik in Naxxramas, although I wouldn't recommend having your pet on Aggressive in raids and dungeons unless you're absolutely confident that you can control it (and not forget to switch it back to Passive/Defensive later!).

The most useful PvE use of Pet Aggressive is to nab highly-camped mobs - standing on the spawn point with your pet on Aggressive will usually help you tag the mob before anyone else in the area unless there are 20 mages spamming Arcane Explosion around you.

In PvP, having your pet on Aggressive is incredibly useful for flushing out stealthers - your pet will usually be able to see rogues and druids before you do even if you have Track Hidden and a Flare up, so use it's best to use it when you know those classes are around.

Using Pet Defensive

If you're comfortable with controlling your pet, it's easiest to leave your pet on Defensive most of the time. This ensures that when you're attacking, your pet is also attacking.

However, you still have to keep an eye on your pet and make sure it's attacking the mob you want it to - as I mentioned in Part one under "Using Pet Attack", pet AI isn't exactly genius. Some fights are better done with your pet on Passive, even if it means more micromanagement; your pet will often turn and attack a mob with an AoE attack that hits your pet rather than sticking to the mobs you're attacking yourself (Assembly of Iron's Stormcaller, for instance).

Using Pet Passive

This is what I would recommend you have your pet set to all the time if you want to be safe. The only downside is that if you're not on the ball with Pet Attack, you'll lose DPS.

Pet Passive is also useful for pulling your pet out of danger. In particular, it can be used in conjunction with Master's Call if you need to get your pet back fast - pulling out of Sartharion flame walls, for instance. On the flip side, it can be used to get your pet back into range for Master's Call - often in PvP your pet will be too far away to cast it.

Finally, as mentioned in Part one, you will need to have your pet on Passive and Stay if you want to Misdirect them and don't want them attacking when you shoot.

That's it for Part two - Part three will be coming as soon as I finish playing with all of the new 3.2 stuff!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

So close...

...and yet so far.